GLENN: Let's talk about change, shall we? Let's talk about that change that everybody wants so much. It's the change election, right? Wouldn't it be helpful if from time to time somebody recognized that change isn't necessarily good, change for change sake isn't necessary -- I mean, sometimes change sucks. I mean, Ford to Carter, that kind of sucked, huh? Not so good there. Godfather 2 to Godfather 3, that wasn't good change. Incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs, Classic Coke to New Coke. Not necessarily. The change the Democrats and apparently many Republicans want, capitalism to socialism. I don't know. It didn't work out for most of the world. In fact, I can't think of any place where it worked out too well for anybody, but I'm sure we're going to love it. But you know what? That's just one of the problems with the politicians and the way they are talking about change and the word change. Sometimes the changes they say are bad are not bad at all. Has anybody seen John Edwards speak? That guy gave that same damn speech last week. He gave another speech last night from New Hampshire. It was the same speech: "Let me tell you about little Johnny Muckenfutch. Little Johnny Muckenfutch who doesn't have a face. If it wasn't for this healthcare system, Johnny Muckenfutch would have a face, but it's just Sally Muckenfutch, oh, boy. She was without legs or arms. She had only a finger for an eye, and I brought it up. I started talking about Sally Muckenfutch with the little 8-year-old girl with a finger for an eye and those insurance companies, they wouldn't do anything. Oh, they didn't care that Sally Muckenfutch would have to pick her nose but she couldn't because she couldn't reach down the nostril because her little eye finger wouldn't go all that way because she didn't have a hand. She just had a finger for an eye."
I mean, shut up, John Edwards. I heard him last night. See if you've heard anybody, let's say John Edwards or Mike Huckabee, talk about how the middle class is disappearing. Well, you know what? They're not lying. The middle class is disappearing. "See, I told you Sally Muckenfutch, little girl with the finger for an eye that can't pick her own nose. Her father used to be in the middle class. Father's no longer in the middle class, those damn insurance companies." Truth is far less people in the middle class percentage-wise than 30 years ago. The middle class is going away. But the percentage in the lower class -- now, this is where it gets weird. This is where you would have to pay attention and not be giving a stump speech some place. The percentage in the lower class over the last 30 years remains unchanged. So in other words, there's the same number of poor people in America that there was 30 years ago but how is the middle class disappearing? Well, the percentage of people making over $100,000 a year has doubled from 12% to 24%. That means the entire decline of middle class is constituted of people moving up into the upper class, not down to the lower class. "Oh, rich are getting richer." Well, yeah. I mean, that's a good thing, isn't it? "No, that's change." Wait a minute. I wouldn't mind being middle class and becoming rich.
I talk a lot about this in the Inconvenient Book. We have a whole chapter about the income gap called "The rich get richer." Good. Good for them! For example, those -- since 1979 those making less than $75,000 a year have declined by over 10%. Those making more than $75,000 has increased by 10%. Hello? Let's change that, shall we, John Edwards?
I saw him last night and I hear all of them, all of them are saying this, Republicans and Democrat: "We need change. Boy, oh, boy, do we need change. We need an America where we all, where we all can enjoy the blessings." I've got news for you. We can.
It's like that story in Denver, boy, that story pisses me off. The story of a school in Denver where the teenage girls are now asking for six weeks maternity leave. I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think I'm going to do anything to make your high school stay a little more comfortable. You made a choice; it was wrong, you know? Whatever happened to reform schools? And I say this as a father of an adopted child and that child was born to a teenage mother, but that teenage mother was a frickin' hero. My son's life would have been completely different, and I know there's going to come a time where he's like I wish I would have had it. In fact, ten minutes ago I was disciplining him. So he's probably thinking that right now. That teenage girl was a hero. She knew it wasn't best for the child to raise her. So she adopted him out. God bless her. Are there no consequences? Do we have to just keep folding? "Well, you know, we want these teenage moms to be able to get a job, be able to go to school." Yeah, sure do. You know what? Instead of making all kinds of special rules, let's just stop making all these special accommodations for everybody.
For instance, I've said this before and I mean it with everything in me. Here's the Glenn Beck unemployment office: "Hi, welcome to Glenn Beck unemployment office where we'll help you find a job and we'll help you float your family for a couple of weeks while you're trying to find a job." "Yeah, I can't find a job." "Good, good. Can I see your high school diploma?" "What?" "Can I see your high school diploma?" "I dropped out." "Gee. Sucks to be you. Next?" That's the way my unemployment -- I gave you a free education. I will take the extra step and say, you know what, go back and get yourself a GED and then come back and see me; I'll help you find a job. "What?" G-E-D. You take advantage of what we've already given to you. If you can't do it within those rules, I ain't carrying you for the rest of your life. Yeah, in the meantime let's take the middle class, which is disappearing because it is becoming the upper class by the same exact percentage points, 10% gone, 10% magically appears, more of them, in the upper class. Let's take that money from the upper class and give it to the lower class. Let's do that. Let's penalize people for making more money.
By the way, if you're in the middle class right now, just because 10% of you now have moved from the middle class to the upper class, be careful what you talk about with the rich, be careful about how you want to penalize the rich because in America there's a chance you're going to become rich. Regardless of how much we complain. Take a look at our country. A barely noticed Gallup poll just out, came out last week, showed 80% of Americans are happy with their lives, 80%. Only 14% not satisfied. Well, who do you think those 14% are? That's the usual suspects. There's always 10, 11, 12, 14% of people who are like, "Yeah, if we just set fire to all the conservatives, we'd be happy. Yeah, if we just killed all the people, then the animals could run free." There's always 11% of freaks. But you know what? None of that really makes a difference in America today. None of the facts actually care. I mean, nobody ever talks about that. And if you're a politician, the last thing you want to do is talk about facts. The only important fact about change is that it tests well with focus groups. If you listen to these candidates -- and Barack Obama is particularly guilty of this right now -- they don't say anything.